O2 Wi-Fi (O2), the commercial brand for Telefónica UK, has selected and is deploying high capacity indoor and outdoor Ruckus Smart Wi-Fi products for its free Wi-Fi service in and around London’s Canary Wharf, one of the world’s premier business and shopping districts.
The agreement between Canary Wharf Group, the owners and developers of Canary Wharf, and Telefónica O2 UK will see the new Wi-Fi network target a working population of over 100,000 people in an increasingly data-hungry mobile device user environment.
The new landmark project follows a previously successful high-density Wi-Fi deployment by O2 and Ruckus Wireless, installed last summer ahead of the 2012 Olympics, to provide reliable Wi-Fi access within high-density locations across the boroughs of Westminster, Kensington and Chelsea—a deployment that ultimately became Europe’s largest free Wi-Fi zone.
Targeted for deployment by the end of this summer, O2’s Wi-Fi service using Ruckus-patented Smart Wi-Fi products and technology will meet the needs of some of the world’s leading professional services, financial, technology, media and telecoms firms located in Canary Wharf.
Free Wi-Fi service
O2 will also provide free Wi-Fi for the tens of thousands of weekly visitors to the cafés, shops, bars and restaurants that populate the Wharf in the evenings and on weekends. O2 will build a carrier-grade Ruckus Smart Wi-Fi infrastructure for both indoor and outdoor use.
Ruckus Wireless claims to be one of the few global Wi-Fi suppliers offering a carrier-class Wi-Fi system that combines indoor and outdoor products that meet O2’s architectural challenges within Canary Wharf. With Ruckus Smart Wi-Fi, O2 can better provide uninterrupted, reliable Wi-Fi coverage, and assure best-in-class performance and availability, according to the company.
O2 will be offering free Wi-Fi access in all Canary Wharf public areas, including four shopping malls that house over 240 cafés, bars and restaurants, and leading retailers, plus 20 acres of outdoor parks and plazas.
Using the Ruckus Smart Wi-Fi network, O2 will be able to automatically connect registered users so shoppers, visitors, residents and workers will only need to sign up once to get online. Another key part of the network infrastructure is Ruckus BeamFlex, the company’s patented Smart Wi-Fi antenna array technology that enables extended range and stronger signal strength to enable higher speeds to client devices, both of which are important in high-density applications like Canary Wharf.
Indoor coverage equipment
For indoor coverage, O2 has selected Ruckus ZoneFlex 7363 indoor 802.11n Smart Wi-Fi access points (APs). These are sleek, low-profile APs offering dual-band (5 GHz/2.4 GHz) support and automatic prioritization of VoIP and video traffic. O2 also chose them because they are aesthetically pleasing – an important consideration in order for them to blend in discreetly across Canary Wharf’s many stylishly designed buildings.
Outdoor coverage equipment
For the outdoor Ruckus Smart Wi-Fi deployments at Canary Wharf, O2 will deploy the Ruckus ZoneFlex 7782-N, a compact and lightweight outdoor AP that combines Ruckus specialized smart sector antenna technology that narrowly focuses Wi-Fi signals within a 30-degree beam width with advanced software capabilities that optimise capacity and minimize interference, including predictive channel selection (ChannelFly). The ZoneFlex 7782-N was designed with high-density outdoor deployments like Canary Wharf in mind.
To manage the outdoor infrastructure, O2 will use the Ruckus SmartCell Gateway (SCG) 200, a highly scalable WLAN controller and Wi-Fi gateway. A single Ruckus SCG 200 is capable of managing 10,000 access points and hundreds of thousands of users with an aggregate throughput of 20Gbps per 2RU’s of rack space, offering a robust and scalable WLAN controller architecture perfectly suited for the demands of the Canary Wharf user environment.
“O2 sees Ruckus Smart Wi-Fi as one of the essential access technologies within our portfolio needed to increase subscribers’ satisfaction and deepen the relationship between our business customers and their clients,” said Gavin Franks, managing director at O2 Wi-Fi. “The selection of Ruckus for the Canary Wharf project is a logical extension of our public Wi-Fi infrastructure throughout London. The addition of the Ruckus SmartCell Gateway system gives us a scalable platform for this high-density environment, where capacity and coverage demands will keep growing.”